Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Forging Forward and Onward

Michal Eisikowitz

With sterling faith, a supporting husband, understanding children, and a generous dose of humor, Cheri Tannenbaum transcends a debilitating disease.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

stream yellowA tanned, three-story brick house with a manicured lawn and spacious driveway, Cheri Tannenbaum’s Efrat home looks like it’s been transplanted from Teaneck. Standing in stark contrast to the drab, dilapidated, windowless Arab structures just bordering the entrance to the well-populated West Bank yishuv, the home has a welcoming, familiar feel, complemented by the bright-blue Mediterranean sky.

Cheri is waiting outside. Petite and thin, with animated, green eyes, she is outfitted with a perfectly tied maroon tichel, navy top, and colorful, homemade Tie Skirt (see picture.) A chunky orange necklace completes the look, virtually branding her a resident of Gush Etzion: energetic, practically dressed, with a touch of funk.

But something marks Cheri as different. Her movements are spastic, her facial expression plastic, and her speech monotone. She articulates with tight muscular movements, in a disarming, deeply guttural voice that takes concerted effort to understand. Cheri has dystonia — a rare, complex neurological condition. And for the past 38 years, until just 10 months ago, she was not able to speak at all.


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you